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Course Descriptions

ANTH 390-2-28 – Language & Sexuality

Sexuality may be understood as desire, practice, or identity. In each of these conceptions, both cultural context and language play a key role. Linguistic anthropology offers important ways of understanding the concept of sexuality as related to phenomena such as globalization, politics, normativity, violence, intersectionality, and even the ways we think of sexuality in our everyday lives. Using ethnographic examples from the United States, Latin America, Africa, Oceania, and Asia, this course looks at homosexuality, heterosexuality, bisexuality, pansexuality, queerness, kink, polyamory, and other various understandings of sexual identities, practices, and desires. Students will engage with gender and queer theory, as well as learning methods of analysis from linguistic anthropology to understand the variation and meanings of sexuality in a comparative context.

ANTH 101-6-21 – First-Year Seminar: Natives Beyond Nations

No description available.

ANTH 101-6-24 – First-Year Seminar: Wrestling

ANTH 215 – Study of Culture Through Language

ANTH 390-0-29/LATIN_AM 391-0-20 – Pop Culture in Latin America

Popular culture is an arena in which Latin Americans make cultural offerings their own through creativity and reappropriation, and functions as a resource in the practices of everyday life. Pop culture forms can be key sites for the formation of identities, for the ways in which people make sense of the world, and understand their location within it. This course looks at a variety of pop culture forms from Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, and South America, including music, dance, sport, television and film, social media, art, beauty, and consumer products. Taking an anthropological approach to this subject, we will interrogate the ways that pop culture draws from, comments upon, and at times resists political issues, notions of authenticity, social problems, and inequalities. In the context of Latin America, race, gender, and class are important conceptual frameworks from which to begin. In this course we will ask the following questions: How do understandings of gender, class, and race shape the ways they are represented and experienced in popular culture forms? Why are gender and race such frequent themes in popular culture? and How does comparison between different contexts enrich our understanding of the key concepts of this course? We will read both theoretical discussions of pop culture as well as ethnographic and historical examples, following these readings with careful discussion. Students will explore these relationships by way of individual research projects, culminating in both an academic paper as well as a creative project that translates the student's conclusions for an audience of non-academics. Students will leave the course with an increased understanding of the concepts of spectacle, popular politics, race/ethnicity, and gender/sexuality that exceed “normative” definitions, and the ways in which they articulate with discussions of popular culture representations and identifications.

ANTHRO 390-0/ENVR-POL 390-0 – Land, Identity, and the Sacred: American Indian Religious and Sacred Sites

This class involves the intersection of religion, law, cultural preservation, land management, and ethnoecology. We will focus on Native American sacred sites and cultural landscapes and their relationship to land, ceremony, history, and tribal/ethnic identity. Central to the class will be a focus on the sacred aspects of tribal identity and the role that landscape plays in the creation and maintenance of these identities. The class will cover laws pertaining to religious freedoms and how they are applied to Native and non-Native contexts throughout U.S. history, along with the histories and philosophies that have, and still influences these policies. 

The class will cover both Federal and Tribal management of sacred sites, ceremonial sites, and religious/spiritual traditions. Important to this discuss, will be the role of oral history in the preservation of culture and relationships to landscapes and how it has/is being utilized the U.S. legal system pertaining to Native American Tribes. The role of treaties and the conflicts that arise between Tribal/U.S. government to government relations and responsibilities will also be covered.

ENVR_POL 390-0/POLI_SCI 329 – U.S. Environmental Politics

Designing and implementing effective environmental policies demands detailed attention to the complex nature of environmental challenges as well as a commitment to reflexivity and adaptation. This course considers the political, economic, ethical, legal, and institutional issues involved in environmental decision-making. We begin with an introduction to the foundations of environmental politics and policy We then examine the political and institutional landscapes that shape the emergence and uptake of environmental agendas.

Next, drawing from US cases, we will consider the formation and implementation of different environmental policies across a range of topics, which may include natural resources, coastal and marine resources, endangered species, air and water pollution, energy, climate change, public lands, endangered species, hazardous waste, toxics, and fisheries, among others. We conclude with a look towards the future of environmental policy. This is an introductory level course designed to give students an understanding of important conceptual issues in environmental policy-making, as well as an overview of core policies related to the US.

GBL-HLTH 390-0 – Community Based Participatory Research

This course is an introduction to community-based participatory research (CBPR). The W.K. Kellogg Foundation states CBPR is a collaborative research approach that “begins with a research topic of importance to the community and has the aim of combining knowledge with action and achieving social change to improve health outcomes and eliminate health disparities.” We will explore the historical and theoretical foundations, and the key principles of CBPR. Students will be introduced to methodological approaches to building community partnerships; community assessment; research planning; and data sharing. Real-world applications of CBPR in health will be studied to illustrate issues and challenges. Further, this course will address culturally appropriate interventions; working with diverse communities; and ethical considerations in CBPR.

HISTORY 393-0-20 – Indigenous Resistance to U.S. Colonialism

HISTORY 492-0-20 – Native American History

HUM 210-0 – Genocide, Resistance, Resurgence: Native Peoples

Note: This course is only open to first-year students accepted into the Kaplan Humanities Scholars Program.

 In this course, we will traverse the Americas to ask a series of big questions that resonate across national boundaries: What does it mean to be Indigenous? What is genocide, and can Native American communities recover from such trauma and loss? What role might tradition, literature, and art play in healing? Can Indigenous and settler-colonial societies ever reconcile? What does it mean to be an "American," and how have Native people, past and present, shaped that identity? To answer these questions, we will move from the ancient past to present-day political struggles. We will draw upon a variety of tools, ranging from archaeology to literature and law. Throughout the course, we will analyze persistent myths, reframe colonialism as a set of ongoing processes, account for differing outcomes, and reflect upon our interrelationships with the forces that have shaped nations and communities throughout North and South America, including here at Northwestern. Finally, our work will extend beyond the classroom, including field trips to the Art Institute of Chicago, the Newberry Library, and the American Indian Center of Chicago.

HUM 370 ASAM 303/AFAM 380 – Race and Indigeneity in the Pacific

Note: applications and registration for this course have closed

 Since the so-called Age of Discovery, the Pacific has been conceptualized as a crossroads between the East and the West. By the twentieth century, places like Hawaiʻi came to be idealized as a harmonious multicultural society. This class examines how race and indigeneity are constructed within the Pacific using an interdisciplinary approach. Drawing from works within indigenous studies, ethnic studies, and critical race studies, students will address themes of sovereignty, settler colonialism, diaspora, and migration in order to interrogate and problematize the concept of the multicultural ‘melting pot’ across time. We focus on the impacts of U.S. plantation economies, militarism, and tourism in shaping the triangulation of indigenous, Black, and Asian groups in Hawai‘i and across the Pacific.

Jour 390-0 – Native American Environmental Issues and the Media

Native American Environmental Issues and the Media introduces students to indigenous issues, such as treaty-based hunting, fishing, and gathering rights; air and water quality issues; mining; land-to-trust issues; and sacred sites. These issues have contributed to tension between Native and non-Native communities and have become the subject of news reports, in both mainstream and tribal media. We will focus on how the media cover these issues and how that coverage contributes to the formation of public opinion and public policy. Students will read and analyze newspaper and on-line news reports and view and critique broadcast news stories and documentaries about Native environmental topics.

POLI_SCI 101-6 – First-Year Seminar: Global Environmental Politics

Environmental problems like deforestation, biodiversity loss, climate change, and ocean and marine resource degradation have emerged as some of the most intractable problems that society faces. They transcend international borders, are scientifically complex, and generally involve large sets of diverse actors and power dynamics from global to local scales. In this first year seminar we will examine how policies, actions, and behaviors impact the environment and how these politics of the environment play out on a global scale. This collaborative seminar will introduce students to the diverse ways in which different social science disciplines, epistemologies, and methodologies shape the ways in which we understand global environmental problems and solutions. While our primary assigned reading materials approach the topics through a political science lens, through individual research assignments and integrated peer assessments, students will be exposed to variety of approaches that will help us think about other ways of understanding a problem. By the end of the course, students will have a broad understanding of the nature of global environmental politics as well as specific knowledge related to a topic of their choosing.

POLI_SCI 349 – International Environmental Politics

POLI_SCI 395 – Global Environmental Justice

Note: cap 15

REL 260 – Introduction to Native American Religion

SOCIOL 201 – Social Inequality: Race, Class, and Power

SOCIOL 345-0 – Class and Culture

The role that culture plays in the formation and reproduction of social classes. Class socialization, culture and class boundaries, class identities and class consciousness, culture and class action.

SOCIOL 476 – Designing Survey Questionnaires

SPANISH 105-6 – Spanish: First-Year Seminar

SPANISH 220-0 – Introduction to Literary Analysis

SPANISH 361-0 – Latin America: Studies in Culture and Society

SPANPORT 570-0 – Teaching Assistantship and Methodologies


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